PM Shehbaz reaffirms commitment to just struggle of Palestinians

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif reaffirmed on Saturday Pakistan’s strong commitment to the just struggle of the Palestinian people.

In a post on his X handle, the premier said that in a telephonic conversation with the Prime Minister of Ireland Simon Harris yesterday, he lauded the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision to order Israel to stop its assault on Rafah.

Admiring Ireland’s recent decision to recognize the state of Palestine, Shebhbaz said this move will not only send a message of hope and solidarity to the innocent Palestinians who are suffering Israel’s brutal atrocities but would also go a long way in promoting Palestine’s cause and encourage other countries to follow suit.

Highlighting the Indian oppression in Kashmir, the prime minister hoped Kashmiris would also receive similar attention from the international community stating they also have been enduring brutal occupation and denial of fundamental human rights for the last seven decades.

Harris said Ireland had taken a principled decision in consultation with other European allies because the extent of Israel’s military action in Gaza could no longer be condoned in any way.

Ireland felt that the decision was necessary to promote normalization in the occupied territories, he added.

PM Shehbaz also paid tributes to the courage of the 13 ICJ judges who made the decision and thanked South Africa for filing the petition.

The top UN court ordered Israel yesterday to halt military operations in Rafah, a landmark ruling likely to increase international pressure for a ceasefire more than seven months into the war sparked by Hamas’s October 7 attack.

The Hague-based court, whose orders are legally binding but lack direct enforcement mechanisms, also ordered Israel to keep open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, which it closed earlier this month at the start of its assault on the city.

The orders come ahead of separate meetings on the Gaza conflict in Paris later Friday between the CIA chief and Israeli representatives on one side and French President Emmanuel Macron and the foreign ministers of four key Arab states on the other.

In its keenly awaited ruling, the ICJ said Israel must “immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah governorate which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”.

Israel must “maintain open the Rafah crossing for unhindered provision at scale of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance”, the UN court added.

“The court finds it deeply troubling that many of these hostages remain in captivity and reiterates its call for their immediate and unconditional release,” it said.

Israel gave no indication it was preparing to change course in Rafah, insisting that the court had got it wrong.

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